The Molly

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Mad Molly and Adam Curry: the podcast?

Here’s the thing about brilliant and complicated people: they don’t make things easy. My friend Adam Curry is one of those people. He’s smart, he’s provocative, he’s sometimes (uh, often) outrageous, and he’s sometimes (uh, often) kind of difficult.

But I love that. I feel challenged by it, and I respect Adam and anyone’s right to say what they think, to ask all the questions they want to ask, and to make people uncomfortable sometimes in service of getting more information. However, I recently got really angry at Adam over some comments he made on the No Agenda show about my then-colleague and current friend Emily Dreyfuss. And since Adam and I have been kicking around the idea of doing a tech podcast together, I wanted to clear the air before we proceeded.

So, I called him up and yelled at him for a while about being a sexist, and he yelled back about hyperactive political correctness, and then we decided we should record all this yelling and clear the air publicly, and frankly, kind of figure out if we even thought we should do a show together since we tend to argue a lot about politics and sexism and vaccines and whatnot. And the result was about a two-hour battle, an apology to Emily (mostly), and, I’m pretty sure, an interesting conversation–interesting enough that I decided to post it here.

Listen: Sexism, society, and whether blunt truths can save us from ourselves

The conversation also made me feel like Adam and I would do a great show together–not because we set aside our differences but because we embrace them.

But if we do a tech podcast, I promise you now that it will be about tech. It’s not a tech version of No Agenda and it’s not a show about trying to fix society–this recording is a one-time experiment. And it won’t be about the gadget of the week and the rumor cycle and the thing that everyone else is talking about. What I love about technology is its ability to change the world–for better or for worse. I want to do the research on the stories that really matter and then talk about what I really think about those stories. As Adam says, I’ve taken a “vow of authenticity,” and I guess it’s time to test it out with someone who pushes my boundaries a lot.

So, consider this our coming-out party, I guess. We’re still working on a name for the show–your ideas are welcome. And your feedback, too. I’m curious to know what you think of an experiment like this.

But before you comment, let me tell you a quick story. Once upon a time, a long time ago (in the early 2000s), I wrote a letter to PC Magazine about a writer they had there, this guy John C. Dvorak. The irony is staggering, I know. I don’t even know what he wrote anymore but I know that it incensed me (it particularly incensed me that he was randomly capitalizing tech phrases in the midst of it). I was convinced he should be fired, and I said so.

I got a very thoughtful response back from his editor, who pointed out that sometimes, it’s good to have voices around that bug you. In fact, it’s often good to have voices around that bug you, because they make you think more, fight harder, and they help you define your own thoughts and feelings in a way that wouldn’t happen if you were constantly validated by the agreeing and agreeable opinions of everything you consumed.

I can disagree with Adam–sometimes vehemently–and still like him, and I think the conversation is better as a result. I hope you agree, and I want to know what you think because if we do a show together, you’re the only thing that’ll make it work. So, let us have it. And thanks for listening.

62 Discussions on
“Mad Molly and Adam Curry: the podcast?”
  • Selfishly, I must insist you dedicate youreself to another podcast for my commute ammusment. Thank you.

  • I think it’s a great idea to do a show/podcast with Adam.
    However, now that Tom Merritt has so unjustly been “kicked out” of TWIT, I think you should either include him or broaden your podcast – “it a thing”. The two of you work really well together & I am not sure that Adam (who has changed so much over the last year or so – having been influenced by the depressing Dvorak) is the right match.
    Not that my thoughts mean that much !!!! BUT whatever you do, I will watch/listen as you are truly superb at whatever you do.
    Happy 2014 …. Michael (from London, England)

  • What the shit!!.

    I want the Molly memoirs of your time at CNET, there’s a whole other underlining discussion that dominated parts of this podcast about your time at CNET.

    Whilst I have never entered the “tech world” I have listened & followed you over the past 12 years and I believe what ever you do, you will do it to the best of your ability and maybe one day you, Adam, maybe JCD, Tom Merrrit etc, will usher in a new generation and your son will be as lucky as I have been to listen to some of the best podcast personalities since the industry began.

    Sending lots of love, karma and all that crap from Australia.

    M

  • I hope this show happens. I sense a good chemistry between two intelligent people who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and possibly offend some people.

  • As long as it’s not all about ranting and arguing. I stop listening if it gets out of hand, which is why I don’t listen to half of the tech podcasts out there. i appreciate debate, but too much tension bugs me out.

  • Oooh, wow, I can’t believe what I’m reading! These two big mouths together, that’s an idea. This is so exciting. I can’t wait to hear Adam and Molly (especially Molly) doing an in-depth review of the latest and greatest earthquake machines!

    I’ll be really really looking forward to it.

  • Molly I would pretty much listen to a podcast you do about anything. You are one of the most important voices in tech.

  • A show that isn’t pandering in its appreciation or criticism of topics, technology or issues? A show that seeks to clarify rather than simplify complexity? YES PLEASE!

  • Molly,
    I’ve been an ardent fan for years and can’t wait for your next chapter. I loved the discussion and am all ears for more.

    Possible Show Names: Tech No Prisoners

  • Molly,

    First of all, I just want to say that you are hands down my favorite person on the internet. I’m pretty sure I would enjoy listening to a podcast of you reading the phonebook. (Honestly. I can just imagine you cracking jokes at the funny sounding names, and going “Dude! I totally knew a guy named Joe Applegate, and he had this [insert funny story and/or rant here]..”)

    My visits to CNET have dropped significantly in the past year or so (due partially to the ending of BOL, and partially to my life just becoming busier) so, just earlier tonight, I went to catch up on Always On, and saw the news that you’ve gone freelance. Congrats! I’m actually really glad, because, while I do really like Always On, I much prefer hearing you on a podcast – the discussions, jokes, banter, etc.

    I’m only a little bit familiar with Adam Curry, but I think a podcast with you two will be good. Honestly, I found the particular audio posted okay, but not great. Mostly because I’m really not into the whole sexism debate. (I am a girl, fyi, just guess I haven’t personally encountered (or noticed) sexism, so I find the discussion tiring..) But since it will be a tech podcast, I’m sure I’ll love it. The deep dive angle sounds really interesting!

    Okay, so TL;DR, you’re the greatest, Molly! Can’t wait for this podcast and whatever else is on the horizon.

  • Wow – I thought I’d check in to see what Molly was up to and lucked into this gem. If this is any indication of what is in-store for us I can’t wait!

    Cheers, Jim

  • I am not from the US so Adam Curry is completely unknown to me. If he is a professional media provocateur he is the water to you sodium. Sounds like interesting and fun. Go for it!

  • Aside from the fact that you two are very smart people and can have an excellent conversation and people will be eager to hear you, you have a chemistry that is awesome! So, go for it! Can’t wait to hear more from you both.

  • Molly,

    I’m looking forward to your next endeavor (even if it means I have to put up with Adam on a regular basis). I wasn’t a big Brian Tong fan before he joined BOL, but I grew to love him, so maybe I will change my mind here too. I couldn’t make it through your whole discussion (I gave up with almost an hour to go). It was just too painful, but I am looking forward to listening to the two of you discuss technology. Hopefully you can keep the completely unnecessary commentary on appearance to a minimum.

  • I’m looking foward to a tech based show that isn’t Like TWIT or Buzz out loud. You’re talking about taking on bigger issues like where tech is taking us and how it affects who we are.
    CANT WAIT!! Get Cracking!!

  • Very interesting listen about sexism in the media and society in general. I’m keen to see what you two smart and talented people come up with!

  • I’m currently listening…

    The thing is that women will use their sexuality to advance their career.

    Then suddenly, they find themselves 38, and they are push aside for more attractive younger women.

    Then they find themselves and become disgusted with the world, even though 90 percent of their career was due not by the merits of their ability, but just the fact they had thin body, a vagina, and understood tech a little bit.

    Now they wake up and realize the world is a very different place.

    People are meaner. They are more invisible. Their opinions are dismissed.

    All because they aren’t hot any longer.

    Welcome to the life of ugly people, something we’ve known for a long time. Beautiful people get ahead despite a smarter less attractive person out there.

    Welcome to the real world.

    Oh and we know Molly had a threesome with Adam and Micky. =D

  • Super interesting discussion. You’re just great, and Adam is provoking and entertaining. He can sometimes be maddening to listen to, but he’s always engaging. Very much looking forward to what you guys put out.

    I think what could really make this a special podcast is your ability to keep your cool and keep the conversation on the rails when Adam starts the B.S. fountain flowing. I doubt there are many broadcasters who could do that.

    Like his use of the “one example disproves a trend” argument. Please. The success of Oprah doesn’t change the fact that, in general, women in media are held to a different standard for their appearances.

    Then there’s his world class word twisting. When someone refers to the German PM as Frau Merkel, it’s not a misogynist comment. Frau is German for Mrs, not code-speak for fat housewife.

    And he’s loose with the facts. If it sounded crazy that there are five sexual harassment lawsuits against Janet Napolitano, it’s because it’s false. There was one, well publicized sexual *discrimination* lawsuit against her. Bit of a difference. The sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against Napolitano’s chief of staff at ICE. And even if it was true, it’s another example of his statistics-by-anecdotes reasoning.

    But despite all this, I’ll definitely tune it. You guys are both outstanding broadcasters who can speak about tech with great authority. And there is no denying that the occasional authentic argument will make for compelling content. Plus, I have a major crush on you and would listen to almost anything you put out.

    My 2 cents about a title would be to stay away from anything clever. How about just “The Molly Wood and Adam Curry Project.”

  • I enjoyed the interaction between Molly and Adam and I’d definitely tune in for what I’d expect to be intelligent, sober, and often humorous analysis of whatever they decide to talk about. A good name for the show might be, “We’re Both Right.”

  • Hey Molly,

    I actually thought I would hate the “podcast about a podcast that talked about a podcast” but I actually liked the banter.

    Not really an Adam Curry fan but a show with the 2 of you might work.

    Show names:

    1. He/She Said What?!?
    2. The MollyCurry Show

    Not really good at giving show names.

    good luck!

  • First of all: Thank you! I was craving for a show with a discussion like this. Thank you! I just want to make a remark here, I do understand the arguments of both sides, but I can’t agree with Mr Curry when he justify that he can be bold on his arguments because he’s part of the “media show”. I think that it’s the exactly the opposite, in social communication 101 we get that a broadcasted message affects the receiver in a thousand different ways, therefore a message that sounds inoffensive for the broadcaster can be extremely offensive for others. It’s part of a communicator job to measure their content and sometimes sensor him/herself. Im not a political correct extremist, believe me, but I believe that the media should think much more before broadcast anything.

    Just a last thought trying to illustrate my point: probably, but just probably, the reason why Mr Curry haven’t got any e-mails about the episode in question is because his audience is accustomed with this kind of argument. The repetition of a message make us numb, for example – in the 80’s a cartoon like Saint Seiya (geek side kicking in), was forbidden to be aired because it was too violent for there was (cartoon!!!) blood. Twenty years later we have the Red Marriage being aired during HBO primetime and the audience digests it. That’s because people got used to see violence. Do you know what I mean?

    Go for it guys!

    Best of luck,

  • Interesting conversation from two interesting people. You can bet I’ll be tuning in to listen what you and Adam have to say. I hope both of you continue to challenge each other, it’s fascinating and engaging.

  • Somewhat engaging dialog and banter (minus the quibbling). Interested to see where you both take it.

    Show name suggestions:
    TAGLINE: The Who, What, Ware of the Tech Domain
    (Ware ==> ie hardware, software, firmware, etc)

    BACKFIRE: Keeping it real in the tech domain. Asking the hard questions no one else won’t.

    Thanks and good luck…

  • Have just finished listening to the ‘podcast’ and wanted to let you know that I found it thought-provoking and informative. To hear you and Adam discussing the issues without losing your tempers and without one side or the other having to ‘win’ was a refreshing change from the vast majority of online discussions. I liked the way you segued into other matters towards the end and should you decide to follow through with your idea I will definitely be listening. That said, please don’t keep it just about tech – having discussions about other matters that you disagree with would likely be just as informative and entertaining. Can’t suggest a title for the show, though, but wanted to give you props for what promises to be a good collaboration.

  • Wow! Where did all the Curry haters come from? Molly, I’ve been enjoying your analysis of tech since college. You are one of the best that I know, and you really do make a strong showing for other women in tech to follow after. I’ve also been listening to No Agenda for over a year, and while I will admit that Curry can be a handful sometimes, it’s part of what makes him Adam Curry and some people just can’t face it. You on the other hand are someone who could hold your own with the crackpot without completely losing your shit, backing down or losing him either (as JC has done on some shows). Some people just work well together, and I can see you and Adam being good for each other in terms of producing a podcast together. I’m very excited about the show and can’t wait!

  • Hi Molly,

    I’m an Adam Curry fan boy. If Adam is interested in doing a podcast with you I look forward to listening to it!

    As for the name, RECLAYMATION suggested “AuthenTECHcity” I suggest a slight modification to this, ‘AuthenTECH’.

    Thanks,
    Troy.

  • Hey Molly, great post. Frankly, I think No Agenda is brilliant 90% of the time, but the one place where both Adam and John lose massive credibility is with their arguably sexist rants about feminism and women wanting to “take over.” They are simply out of their element.

    Dvorak is probably a lost cause in that area, and that’s ok – you know what you’re getting with him in advance, and honestly I listen for his humor and vast knowledge on many topics, not his skill at dissecting social issues.

    Adam is not a lost cause, though. The guy is brilliant and he’s usually always done his homework to back up his arguments, but again, he simply knows nothing about feminism and/or when he’s being flagrantly sexist. I mean, the whole thing about women wanting to “take over” because they “hate men” on Sunday’s show was painful to listen to.

    So yeah, maybe you can whip him into shape in this area, otherwise I’m sure any collaboration you guys do will turn out very interesting and hopefully awesome. No Agenda is fantastic and I don’t doubt this will be as well.

  • This sounds like a very interesting podcast idea…..I’m really intrigued by the concept of true authethenticity and saying what you think…therefore I submit my idea for the name of it to be AuthenTECHcity

  • Adam is obviously an extraordinary entrepreneur – and yes controversial. Can you be authentic working with him. Yes. If you read Graham Nash’s memoir, you see first-hand how dissonance can make beautiful music. Collaborate with the “podfather”? No-brainer!

  • During the part of the sexism podcast with Adam, the word that kept jumping into my brain is diplomacy. They speak the truth, but with soft fuzzy wrappers. I tend to agree with Adam that show business includes looks (lookism?) in the job qualifications. The mention of Ophra and Krauthammer are classic examples, both are not pretty, but they are wicked smart. So a more fair assessment is that good looks allow folks of average brains to be in punditry. If your looks are less than good, you have to be much smarter than average.

    I spent twenty years of my career working for a company that CGI Group bought, and I know a fair number of folks who worked on the healthcare.gov website. I don’t know any of the women who were grilled by congress, but I do know that historically, the company that I worked for had a lot of women in senior management. These women were wicked smart and worked a zillion hours to get into upper management. I’m not surprised that they did well in the hearing.

  • similarly like you, Molly, I am angry at narrow-mindedness of Adam but in my case it’s his close-minded always-negative approach towards European Union, not vaccines as I agree with him that vaccinations are in most cases just too dangerous

    his negativity about EU indicates that if he would have podcast 233 years ago he would be b*tching about US constitution too (hey US states can organize themselves but European states can’t? That’s unfair!), in other words: despite the name “No Agenda” he and his podcast actually do have Agendas which are based on narrow-minded preconceptions and narrow-minded conspiracy theories.

    On the other hand Adam is closed to criticism and his abusing of his listeners and commenters proves it. Of course you as his personal friend would be saved from his usual ad hominem attacks so in the end doing a podcast with him, even if only about tech, would be interesting – just make sure that this podcast has advertisers right from start – otherwise it’s just excersise in self-indulgence ;-)

  • I used to love yelling at BOL.

    But it was always Natalie that used to make me yell the most, during the year of indeterminate hosts.

    Always On didn’t really afford much scope for yelling.

    And P.S. I liked the Brian Tong era just as much, just a different flavor.

  • Oh, boy.

    I’ve been anxiously waiting for your next podcast. (What is Tango Down? is that this?) But if Adam Curry is part of it…. Aw, jeez.

    I’ll listen faithfully, but this reminds me of suffering though Brian Tong in order to listen to you during the last phase of BOL.

    Still your fanboy,
    Ray

  • Great idea. I’ve been watching you since BOL(which I miss) and No Agenda Show has become one of my favourite casts. I watched all your new ones too by the way.
    Devorak is hard to follow though, haha. Go for it!

  • I’m with Elwood — I’ll pass on this as well.

    If feel as if you need to write a blog post to “clear the air” before doing a podcast with Curry, that says something.

    It’s one thing to respect someone’s right to say what they think, but as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.” Much of what Curry says isn’t provocative or edgy — it’s conspiratorial garbage that’s annoying at best (politics) and damaging at worst (vaccines.)

    It’s not enough for me that you’d stick to tech. I can’t get past the messenger.

    I look forward to new projects from you but not this one.

    David

  • Molly, I know you from TWiT. I know Adam from my youth (I still have nightmares of the hair that ate New York!) and No Agenda. I will listen to any show with you two. Definitely an interesting Yin-Yang dynamic… Go for it! If nothing else it will be entertaining and that’s half the battle.

  • How about “No BS Tech”
    I guess “The Buzz Report” is taken. :)
    I love your work – you can be honest (brutally at times), informative, and entertaining.
    I’m a little leery about Adam, though…

  • I think this is the best idea since Gadgettes (I think it was spelled like that).
    You both a strong minded people and of course the conversation would be very interesting to listen to.
    Suggestion for the name: The Mad Techies Show with Wood and Curry.

    You could even have guests.

    The best of luck.

  • You’re better than this Molly. He’s a powerhouse and I listen to his show for about a week once a year or so. It’s all I can take. Adam is in it for himself. He doesn’t care about his audience and whenyou back him up he’ll resort to vulgarities. If you do this you’ll learn more about yourself than about tech. Catch you on your next gig. I’ll be giving this one a pass.
    Love ya Lady,
    Elwood

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